What Landlords Should Know About Move-Out Letters

Creating move-out letters and managing paperwork is an essential task. When done correctly, this practice can be extremely helpful to your bottom line.

Move-out letters help you encourage tenants to move out on time and leave your rental in good condition. This can not only help you keep your unit in prime condition but can also help you reduce the risks of holdover tenancies.

If you want to learn how to write a great move-out letter, keep reading! The experts at Windermere Property Management have written this guide to help you understand the importance of move-out notices and how to write them.

Why Are Move-Out Letters Important?

In general, move-out letters can help you speed up and smooth out the move-out process. In your letter, you can clearly outline the move-out expectations you have for your tenants, which can help reduce the risk of disputes later on.

Additionally, you can use them as an opportunity to lay out your inspection procedures and what the tenant is expected to clean before vacating the rental.

A move-out notice can help you ensure that your tenant leaves the property in good condition. In turn, you’ll spend less time and money on repairs and maintenance and fill your vacancies faster.

The Difference Between a Move-Out Letter and an Eviction Notice

A move-out letter simply notifies your tenant that you will be terminating their lease. An eviction notice, on the other hand, is a legal document that seeks to terminate the tenancy for lease violations such as nonpayment of rent, tenant property damage, and failure to honor the lease terms.


From start to finish, the eviction process can take anywhere from one to three months. Before taking any action, it’s best to consult with a legal professional.

The Benefits of Sending a Move-Out Letter

Sending a move-out letter to your tenants can be beneficial for both of you. The following are some of the biggest benefits:

  • Keeping Renters Happy: It can help solidify the relationship you’ve built with your tenants and to ensure that you part on good terms.
  • Giving Renters Time to Prepare: Sent with proper notice, a move-out letter allows your renter adequate time to clean and fix your rental before moving out.
  • Communicating Your Expectations to Tenants: A move-out letter helps avoid potential miscommunications by clearly outlining all your move-out requirements.
  • Keeping Your Property Protected: A proper move-out letter can protect you and your property in case of a legal dispute.
  • Avoiding Holdover Tenants: A move-out letter can help you evict tenants that want to stay on your rental long after their lease has expired.
  • Finding New Tenants Quickly: Sending a move-out letter allows you to ensure tenants leave your rental on time. This allows you to schedule maintenance and clean the property so you can list it again and find great tenants.

How to Write an Effective Tenant Move-Out Letter

The information that may be included in a tenant move-out letter will vary, as no two rental properties are the same. That’s why it’s best to consult with a legal expert or a reputable property management company for further assistance.


That said, here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Include the date of delivery.
  • Include your contact information.
  • Tell your tenant the date they must move out and the reason for the termination (i.e. the lease has ended).
  • Provide final move-out inspection details, including move-out requirements and inspection date.
  • Outline when the tenant needs to move out.
  • Explain instructions for leaving keys behind.
  • Explain the details of the security deposit process.

When to Send a Move-Out Letter

The timeline for sending out a move-out letter varies based on state and local laws and regulations. So, you’ll need to check local move-out rules and regulations to help ensure that you’re compliant.

Tenant Responsibilities to Include in a Move-Out Letter

When writing a move-out letter, it’s a good idea to include a move-out checklist that spells out the expectations you have for your tenants before moving out.

For example, you can include the following requirements:

  • Clean all of the bathrooms
  • Clean all of the windows
  • Dispose of all garbage
  • Ensure the furniture and appliances are in good condition
  • Sweep, mop, or vacuum the floors

You can add more requirements to the move-out checklist depending on the needs of your rental. The goal of a move-out checklist is to ensure that tenants leave your property in good condition. If they don’t, then you may have a right to make appropriate deductions to their security deposit.


To avoid misunderstanding or disputes, it’s best to outline what is expected for a tenant to get back all, or some, of their security deposit in your move-out letter.

Bottom Line

Move-out letters are an essential part of being a professional, organized landlord because it can protect your bottom line. Other benefits of move-out notices include reducing the risk of holdover tenancies and maintaining a good relationship with your former tenants.

Writing a move-out letter varies from landlord to landlord, as every rental is different. Some of the things you must include in your letter are the move-out date, whether you’re performing a property inspection, and the requirements tenants need to fulfill to get their security deposit back.

If you still have questions regarding move-out letters or need help managing your rental properties, contact Windermere Property Management!

We provide expert property management services to property owners in Spokane, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, and Spokane Valley, WA. Let us help you too!

Next Post Previous Post